For a California home sale, here is a list of the required/standard legal disclosures:
|Usually provided at the time of signing the contract
|Usually provided within 10-17 days of signing the contract
|8-page (varies) Purchase Agreement specifying the right of the buyer to terminate the contract upon 72-hours notice upon receiving a new inspection or disclosure
|2-page Lead based paint disclosure
|3-page Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS)
|17-page EPA lead disclosure pamphlet
|2-page Buyer’s Inspection Advisory
|40-page (varies) Natural Hazard Disclosure Report (order it online from 1st American)
|1-page Seller’s Statutory Disclosure (SSD)
|1 or 2 page Water Heater & Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance
|1-page Megan’s law disclosure (if not already in the purchase agreement)
|1-page carbon monoxide detector notice
|53-page guide to earthquake safety
|45-page environmental hazards pamphlet
|16-page energy conservation booklet
|10-page (varies) Home Inspection Report (by a contractor chosen by Buyer)
|10-page (varies) Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms Inspection Report (by a contractor chosen by buyer or seller)
The buyer does not need to print and sign every page of these documents above, only the pages where a signature (or initial) is requested. Also, every page can usually be processed electronically (even signature pages), so the parties are free to exchange fax/email copies as if they were originals.
If you are a paranoid detail-oriented seller, consider making a checklist of every disclosure document you give to the buyer. You can invite them to sign your checklist to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Sellers, the law requires you to be honest and reasonable when making disclosures. You are not required to disclose trivial or immaterials things; but you are required to disclose all material problems or conditions that a reasonable buyer would want to know. What does a reasonable buyer want to know? A reasonable buyer wants to know matters that are relevant to the property’s condition and market price (i.e., safety, livability, construction, neighborhood, insurance claims, liens, etc.). It definitely helps to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes; would you want the matter disclosed to you? Experienced real estate attorneys agree – when in doubt, disclose it.
Greg Glaser, Attorney at Law
Serving all of California
Flat Fee Packages Available for Buyers and Sellers Without a Realtor